Cities are our natural world, created by us and yet, in their constantly shifting complexity, almost beyond our grasp. Urbanization processes do not end at the city boundaries. Almost infinite networks, alienated communication, hasty consumption and conflicts of social marginalization or economic injustice determine our urban survival. Cities form contested spaces, whose present refers back to the past, whose power structures can be identified and also changed. It is important to predict the need for change well in advance but also to be able to react to acute crises great and small with fresh solutions.

Innovations are driven on a bottom-up basis. Not infrequently they arise at the margins of society, where established structures encounter influences from without, traditional responses no longer work, or safeguards apply to some but not to others.
The projects developed in the studio situation of our Social Design program show that societal innovation–meaning extraordinary results and unexpected approaches–becomes possible where different forms of knowledge and methods interact, where artistic acumen combines with creativity from the so-called hard sciences, where design, theory, architecture and the fine arts not only pool their strategies but also enter into confrontations and alliances that can be both risky and productive.

Innovative methods construct new meanings, strengthen responsibility and thus create the preconditions for identification with one’s own actions. Students who choose the Master’s in Social Design – Arts as Urban Innovation signal their determination to play a critical and active part in influencing society and a refusal to discount the future!


The master programme Social Design Arts as Urban Innovation at the University of Applied Arts Vienna is oriented towards graduates from diverse fields of study, thereby stipulating work in transdisciplinary teams as the central teaching and learning approach in the programme. On the basis of professional competences acquired in their respective previous studies, students become acquainted with transcending disciplinary codes and thinking and working in greater interrelationships. Art in synergy with project-related scientific methods and knowledge is seen as a tool for urban innovation.

Duration and Scope:
4 semesters / 120 ECTS 
Graduation: "Master of Arts" (MA)

Download the curriculum as a PDF:  Deutsch  English



Sarah Borinato

Graphic designer, Vienna

I am a 27 years old Sicilian designer and singer based in Vienna but I like to define myself a ‘multi tasking person’. Why? Because I am always looking forward to something new to learn.
And most important, I have fun!

What I like to do the most is combine and integrate my two big passions, music and design. I like to work with different people and for the people and I love good food!

Sophie Bösker

Ilustrator - Filmmaker - Artist, Kempten / Vienna

Sophie`s work includes projects in fine art, video and conceptual design. All of her projects are dealing with well-researched fundamental social, political or ecological issues. The aim of her work is to deal with contemporary and socially relevant issues in a humorous and subtle way to initiate thought processes that are crucially needed in a time of capitalism, globalisation and consumption.

Literature-Arts-Media (BA, University of Konstanz), Design&Art (BA, Free University of Bolzano), Social Design (MA, University of Applied Arts Vienna)

Eliza Chojnacka

Designer, Vienna/Warsaw

Eliza is graduate of Product Design at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. She studied at the Design Department of the University of Economics in Izmir and at the Department of Urban Sciences at the University of Warsaw. Interested mainly in the meaning of common space and particularly passionate about working with local communities. She uses mapping as a tool to explore urban space and to visualize the sensual experience of our surroundings.

İlkin Beste Çırak

City and Regional Planner, Art and Design, İzmir, Turkey

Beste is a city planner and art designer, who produces her art based workings and public games in the realm of relational aesthetics in an open call for participation to create bases for nonviolent social change. Predominantly, taking public spaces as the core of co-exisence she discusses scales of localities, identity and culture production with synthesizing various mediums, disciplines and communities to courage fertile dialogues.

Frank Daubenfeld

Artist, Vienna / Luxembourg

Frank studied Fine Arts at Kunsthochschule Mainz and at University of Strasbourg. He works primarily in the field of painting and installation. His works revolve around movement, symbols, as well as the connections and dialogues between image carriers. He is interested in how artistic practices can make use of different mediums to create a dialogue about social matters. Social themes addressed through an artistic approach can change the perspective and challenge collective belief systems.

Fine Arts

David Grüner

Artist and Visual Creator in Installation/Performance/Concept Art, Vienna

Coming from the mixed backgrounds architecture, philosophy and graphic-design, having worked in collectives on exhibiting in Hamburg, now operating in another collective working on similar topics based in Vienna.